Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Ecological processes and resilience - science area at CEH

We're delivering our Science Strategy (2014-2019) through a number of Science Areas and underpinning activities. Find out more about each area as we profile them over the coming weeks in a series of blog posts. 

This post focuses on our Ecological Processes & Resilience science area, which is headed by Dr Allan Watt. Understanding of ecological processes, particularly those that affect the resilience of species, is needed to maintain ecosystems and the delivery of ecosystem services.

The benefits that flow from biodiversity and ecosystem services are increasingly under threat from environmental change. Threats include habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources. The threats are exacerbated by pests, diseases, alien invasive species and other drivers of global environmental change.

In our research we combine long-term datasets and use citizen science, models and experimental systems to examine the impacts of single and multiple drivers, including socio-economic drivers, on populations, species and ecosystems.

Other research objectives include assessing strategies to adapt to climate change in forestry, assessing lake restoration techniques, quantifying links between biodiversity and resilience to invasion by pests across a range of ecosystems, and linking time-series data from different trophic levels to assess the degree of synchrony of species interactions.

Long-term monitoring activities that help us in this Science Area include the Isle of May Study,  the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme and Loch Leven surveillance.

Find out more about our Ecological Processes & Resilience Science Area, including a Science Area Summary [PDF], on the CEH website.

Additional information

CEH Science Strategy

Lake restoration research at CEH

Staff page of Dr Allan Watt

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